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Friday, August 20, 2004

ON THE TRAIL: Olympic spirit edition
The Olympics, Brought to you by George W. Bush
The Bush administration is getting better and better at this exploitation thing. Last week, the Bush team rolled out an Olympic-themed advertisement which seeks to capitalize on the games proclaiming that "in 1972 there were 40 democracies, compared with 120 today." Apparently, the Bush administration is taking credit for fostering the 80 democracies that have sprouted in the last 30 years. I suppose if John Kerry were president, the Olympics wouldn't even happen. The ad goes on to note that "freedom is spreading throughout the world like a sunrise." Then, after you finish gagging on that phrase, the ad reminds you that today there are ""two more free nations" and "two fewer terrorist regimes." And two more hapless teams for us to bully around the, uh, softball fields.

Furthering the Olympic exploitation effort, Bush has been talking up the early success of the Iraqi soccer team, which won its first two matches and has qualified for the medal round. Iraqi midfielder Salih Sadir responded yesterday to the president's milking of its success: "Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign, he can find another way to advertise himself." Yes, like spreading vicious untruths about Kerry's war record... that's another way. Teammate Ahmed Manajid had a less-finessed message for President Bush:
"How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes."

Manajid added that if he were not playing soccer he would "for sure" be fighting as part of the resistance. And the coach of the team, Adnan Hamad weighed in as well, saying, "The American Army has killed so many people in Iraq. What is freedom when I go to the stadium and there are shootings on the road?" Now, I understand that it's a bit hard to swallow these types of comments when the team is playing without fear of death because of the actions taken by our military, but one has to wonder about how we're doing in that whole winning-over-the-hearts-and-minds-of-Iraqis thing when this is the overriding sentiment from the people we supposedly liberated.

What the Zell?
The GOP announced its speaker line-up for its convention at the end of this month. Along with celeb-politicians like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rudy Giuliani, Democratic senator Zell Miller has been tapped to as the convention's keynote speaker. Miller, referred to as Zig Zag Zell by DNC chairman Terry McCauiliffe, will be making his second convention appearance at Madison Square Garden. In 1992 he stood on stage slamming W's father while introducing Bill Clinton for nomination. This year he will trade in his Dem stripes for Republican ones to praise junior Bush. God, what a flip-flopper!

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